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Thread: 1960 R50 Info?

  1. #1
    Out There Somewhere ricochetrider's Avatar
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    1960 R50 Info?

    Hi guys.

    Hey guys, thought I'd fixed the thread title- it SHOULD say 1960 R50 Info.

    This was posted on BritBike.com- a guy asking about somebody he knows' R50 (1960).

    Obviously there's a lot of info that is missing here, and unfortunately no photos of the bike. I'll paste his text into this post, in the hope that somebody could enlighten me (us) RE: possible sales value, whether or not it's a /2 (I looked at the R50 PDF), etc.

    I'm pasting text from two posts this gentleman has made, in which he seems to divulge about every bit of info he has on the bike. Admittedly it's still not much to go on- but immediately a couple questions DO arise. I put all pertinent info into BOLD text.

    Thanks in advance for your expertise and time.
    Tom

    Post #1:

    "I have a friend who is storing a 1960 BMW R.50 which is in original condition ... white paintwork, black frame and headlight nacelle, odometer shows 4099 ... miles or Km's ??, even the seat is original, with the German manufacturers plate attached. My friend is in possession of the original title and packing crate. He is storing the motorcycle for a family friend who wants to sell the bike but has no idea of sale value. Do any of you worthy gents..and ladies, perhaps, have any ideas.The bike is in Gastonia , North Carolina.
    Thank you,and apologies for any deviance from rules.
    James."

    Post #2:

    "The bike in question is in excellent condition ... very minor paint chip on the frame tubes.The motor runs well, transmission shifts smoothly.
    I took the offer of $450 to be a tongue in cheek attempt at humour !.
    I have no vested interest in the bike,I just want to see it go to a good home for a fair price.
    The fellow who is currently holding the bike in storage( on his showroom floor) runs a motorcycle exchange business ... American only, and has no clue about European makes.
    Thanks again.

    James."
    Last edited by ricochetrider; 06-25-2014 at 11:43 PM.
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  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Of course you saw the other post on pricing an R60. But that one had lots of goodies, so it might be hard to compare.

    A little confusion...1962 or 1960? That might make a difference. The britbike poster says 1960 so that's probably it. Sounds like it was the last of the period before they gained the /2 moniker. There were R50 and R60s '55 to '60, then R50/2 and R60/2 through the '60s.

    White page and black frame? Original? Doesn't seem like that's original to me. The value while is in the eye of the potential buyer, needs to be determined with answers to questions like "Matching numbers?", "When did it run last?" [he posts that it runs well], "What's the maintenance history and who did the work?". The big thing for these bikes is the status of the slinger...there's no oil filter as we know it on these bikes, just the centrifugal system to separate out the big stuff while feeding oil to the main bearings.

    Without seeing any pictures and having more information, it's really very difficult to price it. Just to put some numbers out there, I'll say $3K to $7K. There is a set of numbers floating around in the vintage world which have likely been overshadowed by some of the latest auction prices. But it used to be 5K-5K-5K. $5K to buy a bike, another $5K to mechanically restore it, and finally $5K to return it to showroom condition. Acquiring bikes in any reasonable condition has easily neared double digits, and it's getting more and more expensive to rebuild these engine. The good thing is, that the resources are still there to support this bikes. That's amazing!
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  3. #3
    Out There Somewhere ricochetrider's Avatar
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    Hi Kurt,

    OOPS! I fixed my thread title and also corrected my error in my own text.

    I, too, thought the white/black sounded like the bike had been taken apart at some point. I'm sure we all know only too well the stories some folks cook up- and this is a guy who knows a guy who has a bike he's holding for another guy- and now I'm talking about it!
    So we are already several times removed from the bike's realities. I'm going to ask James if there's any way we can get pix. Photos of serial numbers etc would probably be helpful- and since the guy has the original CRATE... maybe there are some form of service records, too? I'll definitely ask.

    Thanks, and cheers!

    Tom
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  4. #4
    Out There Somewhere ricochetrider's Avatar
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    Photos of this bike have just come thru... let's see if I can simply copy and paste...
    Nope OK let's try these photobucket links...

    There are a few obvious- even to me, who doesn't know specifics- things about this bike that jump out at first glance... mufflers and front fender for sure... and we still don't know if the frame and engine numbers match...

    Can anyone give any other insight on the bike please?

















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  5. #5
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Wow, a lot of things aren't right on this bike. That's definitely a repaint...BMW didn't do that kind of paint job. The frame color looks matte whereas it should have more sheen than that. The numbers stamped on the steering head plate don't look right either...wrong font and size...makes me wonder about the legitimacy of the bike. The throttle/clutch levers look sort of right (with no ball on the end) but they were always solid, not bent/folded aluminum like these. It's kilometers from the speedo...has to be at least one time around for 104KM or about 65K miles. Custom seat...who knows it might fit someone's butt a little better...and it's lowered...but the seat height was always pretty low. Missing the hose clamps on the air tube/carb rubbers. Non standard hand grips. The throttle housing is wrong...the cables don't come off like that...they're supposed to run parallel to the handlebars before turning near the headlight. Wrong footpegs.

    Is the frame number x68029...can't make out the first digit. But of the third digit from the left is an 8, then it can't be a 1960 model. Maybe it's x58029...that would make it more like a 1958 model.

    To get original/repro type parts on the bike is going to take a lot...personally, I think it needs to be painted. The price begins to drop with all that. I wonder how well the bike has been maintained.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
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  6. #6
    RD'nNH&AZ rdhudson's Avatar
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    Throttle is wrong too-looks to be from a brit bike (bonneville?) I would run not walk away. Bitsa bike.
    2002 F650GS, 1998 R1100R 75th anniversary edition, 1983 R80RT (just sold), 1959 R60 (in restoration), Honda CT90
    If you must make a mistake, make a new one each time.

  7. #7

    From the pictures this is my 2.5 cents

    If the bike is a matching numbers R 50, that would be frame, ID plate, engine number (above right cylinder base) and clear title it has some good value.

    Handle bar controls, clutch and throttle perches are not correct for the bike.

    Seat has been recovered and is sad at best, it it has the rubber cushion instead of the steel springs it isn't worth walking it to the trash can and should just be tossed to the nearest junk pile.

    Front fender, WRONG!!!

    Rear fender looks as though its had some bodywork done, very poor quality body work at that.

    Tank and rear fender are repaints and not a correct color for a bike of that vintage.

    Frame & head light paint could be original, it seems as though the older /2 and before bikes lost shine just before the paint started coming off so from the pictures the patina says it could be original paint.

    You can get replacement speedometers in KM or MPH but they aren't cheap.

    The foot pegs are wrong and appear to be from a post 1975 /6 or /7 series, the rubber parts are cheap but good luck finding the hardware for them.

    Rims and hubs look to be correct depending on year and closer inspection of the spoke length, either way if they aren't bent or beat up real bad they are good to go.

    A numbers matching (frame, Id plate, engine & clear title) the bike as it looks to me in the pictures is not that bad. You can get new or good used fenders, seat and the other cosmetic stuff if your patient and have extra cash to throw down.

    A big concern would be drive train mechanics. You have to plan on a complete rebuild of the motor transmission and final drive and that is not cheap unless you can do it yourself and even then you will spend about $2,500 in parts and machine shop services to get it all back to mechanical specs.

    If the numbers match, the frame is straight and it runs OK a good deal would be under $3,500, a fair deal would be $3,500-$4,500 and you gotta really want it to pay more than that for it.

    Bottom line is the bike is not original paint or condition and more than likely has been cobbled together from several bikes and a some spare parts by someone hoping to score a payday from someone who can't see past the BMW roundels on the tank. If the numbers don't match don't pay more than you can afford to throw away and understand you will never get what you put into it when you go to sell it.

    It is at best a complete restoration bike regardless of how much you pay for it so give it a lot of thought before you excited about buying it as restorations are not cheap and they cause some severe headaches at times.

  8. #8
    Out There Somewhere ricochetrider's Avatar
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    Sheesh!

    Well, this isn't too surprising, all things considered. I've already asked for pix of the number stamped into the motor. I asked again, and also asked for a better pic of the frame number plate.

    I guess the 64,000 dollar question is: DO the numbers match?
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  9. #9
    Out There Somewhere ricochetrider's Avatar
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    OK- Matching Numbers!

    Engine number:



    Frame number:





    For some reason he also took a pic of the Magura handlebars?



    I guess maybe he's included this as a point of reference? or possibly to provide as much info as possible? Anyway, I looked up the number 563029
    at BMBikes.co.uk

    http://www.bmbikes.co.uk/chassispage...hassisto69.htm

    And I guess this is near to the last of the R50 series- the R50 numbers run from 550001 to 563515 and we have 563029 here. Obviously you guys will know far more about this than I, I'm just reading numbers off a web page. Incidentally, looking at the above pic of the plate mounted on the frame, the number stamped upon it appears to also be 563029.

    Any further comments or suggestions will be appreciated.
    THANKS for the input thus far!
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  10. #10
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Check the list that I provide here:

    http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread....nd-Build-Dates

    I don't have any build dates near your number, but you're probably right on the latest of the VIN. More than likely it was built in the summer of 1960 before the 1961 bikes came out.

    If/when you want to check, you can email the BMW Archives and provide them the VIN info and they will check their records for more info. I've done that before I bought a bike so I could verify the year of build. If you get some info, let me know and I'll update my list.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
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  11. #11
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    The clutch and brake levers are period correct Magura racing levers. The throttle might be as well, but I'm not an expert. The front fender, with its slim appearance no valences might have been added to go along with the racing levers, and the obviously recovered Schorsch Meier narrow bench seat would allow a spirited rider to slide back and down into a racing crouch more easily than the older "rennbr?tchen" fender pad would. The euro handlebars would also go along with this motif, but I don't see any other evidence to think that this bike was actually a club racer.

    The rest of the bike has, as many have pointed out, many "incorrect" items or finishes. But for $450, you could hardly go wrong if you want a project. The racing levers are quite coveted and would probably fetch that much.
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  12. #12
    Out There Somewhere ricochetrider's Avatar
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    Hey thanks guys!

    Darryl,
    The levers, handlebars and seat seem to lend at least some extra bit of credo to this otherwise apparent Bitsa...

    Not sure where the 450.00 figure came from! Typo? ha ha, pretty sure these folks want as much as possible out of this bike!

    I may send the numbers to BMW Archives to see what they come up with just for fun...
    On to Google!

    UM... Houston, we have a problem...

    Found the BMW archive.org site BUT they want you to enter the LAST 7 DIGITS of the serial number...
    of course there are only SIX! The site wouldn't register the six digit ID number!
    Back to the drawing board. Stand by.

    OK searched around and every single ID site I found asks for SEVEN digits...
    Um... wtf. Over.
    Last edited by ricochetrider; 07-20-2014 at 04:18 PM.
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  13. #13
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Not sure what you're looking at. Send an email to Fred.Jakobs @ partner.BMW.de. Yes, VINs prior to 1970 are less than 7 digits...that's OK, just send them everything you know about the bike, mainly the 6-digit VIN you have.

    Edited the email address.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  14. #14
    Out There Somewhere ricochetrider's Avatar
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    Copy.
    Thanks, will do.
    Stand by for Fred's reply, and any forthcoming info...

    I'm just following research links from MOA and assorted links gleaned from the web off a google search on ID'ing/tracing BMW Motorcycle VINs- including the BMW Archive site.
    Last edited by ricochetrider; 07-22-2014 at 09:01 PM.
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  15. #15
    Out There Somewhere ricochetrider's Avatar
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    Well Fred never got back to me... As the photobucket links seem to been "moved or deleted", I take that to mean someone has bought the bike, or it's no longer an issue for the sellers?

    Anyway, thanks to all for your expertise, advice, and opinions.
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